Sunday, October 28, 2012


Penans have not left their blockades

KUCHING (Oct 28, 2012): Contrary to what has been claimed, Penans from eight villages in Sarawak's Belaga district have not dismantled their blockades on access roads to the controversial Murum dam.

Sarawak Conservation Alliance of Natural Environment (Scane) coordinator Raymond Abin, who returned to Miri today after an overnight stay at one of the two blockade sites, said that the situation remains as it is and the international community is monitoring the issue.

"Over the last two days, many of them went back to Long Luar, one of the eight villages, because an elderly man died and later an elderly woman from Long Singu also died," he said.

He said that the Penans who have gone to the two villages will return after the mourning period is over. "But there are some still left to man the blockades," Abin said.

Abin stressed that not only are world bodies watching the matter, but also concerned Malaysians and those affected by the dam projects in Sarawak.

He was commenting on Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing's statement on Saturday that 320 Penan have abandoned the blockades after their negotiations with Belaga state assemblyman Liwan Lagang.

Masing, who is also PRS president, had quoted Liwan as telling the Part Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) supreme council meeting in Sibu about the Penans leaving.

Masing, who is also the state land development minister, had also told the government that the international community was keeping tabs on how the Penans were being treated.

"We have got to handle them carefully and with fairness," he told reporters after chairing a meeting, adding that it was important that the government knows that the Penans are a reasonable people.

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